"Everything happens for a reason"?

doctoro
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"Everything happens for a reason"?

"When something happens for a reason,
the reason can only be attributed to nature
or the motives of a human being.
Only coincidence and human will
cause things to be.
There is no cosmic puppeteer
to thank when things go right
or blame when things go wrong.
There are no signs from the cosmos.
You are the master of your future
within the boundaries of nature."
- - Me


MattShizzle
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This is bullshit and an

This is bullshit and an irrational precept.


doctoro
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Hmmm... My quote, or those

Hmmm... My quote, or those who say "everything happens for a reason"?


Medievalguy
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the later. I hate it when

the later. I hate it when people say that. No shit doesn't happen for a reason. (well, technically it does, but not for the reason beings some wonder mysterious plan of God's) They just say "god works in mysterious ways" b/c they have no idea why what the f*** just happened happend. I dunno though, I've often wondered if everything was like a giant set of dominos, a set you could trace back to the start. It would be kinda cool if you had all the data and knew exactly how the matter from the big bang would react, down to the elements. If you knew all the data you could tell (or reasonably predict) how the atoms would act for eons. (From planet creation down to a light summer breeze affecting a creature's mood/brain chemistry) Ok, i'm rambelling, but yeah, nothing happens for a reason*


SassyDevil
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Imagine if medical doctors

Imagine if medical doctors said, "Everything happens for a reason," accepting illness and defects as God's will, without searching for anything else.


todangst
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Our brains are 'meaning

Our brains are 'meaning makers', we assume intentionality, we are pre-wired to look for patterns, for causal connections, ergo its not saying much when we say 'everything happens for a reason'.... it's little more than an attempt at reducing anxiety/doubt through self assurance....

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


lucidfox13
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I think it's the problem

I think it's the problem many humans have, where we absolutely need to know everything.  We want to have more knowledge, but we don't want to learn.  I guess it's kind of a cop out of the real answer, whether they'd like to learn it or not. 

 I used to live by that rule that everything happens for a reason when I was into Paganism and New Age crap.  However, I'm much happier now that I can control my own destiny.

JESUS SAVES!!! .... and takes only half damage!


WolfgangSenff
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If I'm not mistaken, this

If I'm not mistaken, this is a fairly typical logical fallacy called post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this, or the Rabbit's Foot fallacy). At least, much of the root of the problem with "there's a reason for everything" lies in said fallacy.

 Interestingly, today, my boss claimed that Job is a perfect example of, "God never gives us anything we can't handle." It's along similar lines to the given phrase. I realized that both in a way also support the phrase, "The end justifies the means."

 People who use these arguments make me sick. I have a long list of these types of things too that is going to be updated with something I was told today.

"Jesus -- the other white Moses" - Me.


Teresa Nichols
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Someone I know (and have

Someone I know (and have recently become  close to) keeps saying this to me, in regard to a shared and horrible loss. 

It's not difficult to just overlook it, but I'd like to find a tactful way of telling her, "yeah, uh huh, but don't you know I'm an atheist, and so was the friend we lost, and he would also disagree with you, as I do." 

She says I'm "more spiritual than I think I am" even though she knows I'm an atheist . . .blah blah blah "everything happens for a reason."   Of course it does; it just isn't a supernatural reason. 

Sometimes I just can't address this stuff, especially when people are grieving and seeking to comfort themselves or others.  People say (and believe) all kinds of lame things just for comfort in times of intense duress, loss and stress.

It seems to me that there are moments when it's just counterproductive, if not inhumane, to try to make a person come to terms with the real truth about living, which is, that there's almost certainly no evidence for those silly, supernatural beliefs.  I suspect it might be like telling a little kid there's no such thing as Santa or the tooth fairy, and that's just not my style.


Max Wilder
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Human beings have an

Human beings have an amazing ability to adapt. It's so good, that when we are forced to adapt to something, we often make our situation better than the status quo we had accepted before.

It is almost the same as "Post hoc ergo propter hoc", but the causality is actually true.

The problem is the assigning of meaning, as todangst mentioned. We retroactively assign meaning from the new situation to the unexpected trigger, as if there was some cosmic force that new what would happen all along.

This pisses me off because it minimizes how amazing we humans are. Just like when somebody wins an award and thanks God, rather than saying "I worked my ass off for this, thanks to all the people who helped."

Rather than saying "Everything happens for a reason", we should say that "Every event provides an opportunity to learn, grow, and improve."

-----
I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting. But it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously.
- Douglas Adams, Salmon of Doubt


neptewn
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Max Wilder wrote: Rather

Max Wilder wrote:
Rather than saying "Everything happens for a reason", we should say that "Every event provides an opportunity to learn, grow, and improve."

You mean:

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. - William S. Burroughs


Patty Penslinger (not verified)
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Everything happens for a reason...

It is so great to see intelligent and thoughtful people actually having a discussion. Thank you all for your great wit and candor!!! There's hope...and for the record...everything happens for a reason, and that reason is: we make choices and decisions.